More about Hotel Playa del Karma
Hotel Playa del Karma
We like to reserve the first few days somewhere while we get used to the local environment, and the Playa Del Karma provided everything we had hoped for. The multi-lingual staff will also communicate with you by email, which I found to be a great help confirming reservations and eliminating any worries about our initial stay. The rooms are tastefully appointed and the grounds of the inner courtyard are lush and beautiful.
A mere 2 blocks from the famous 5th Avenue pedestrian stroll, it was comfortable, clean, quiet and affordable, with a very hospitable staff. It had all the modcons like pool, fridge, TV, air conditioning, internet wifi around the property, free email and surfing computer in lobby, etc.
The affordable Playa Del Karma hotel was a great choice as we did not have to drive anywhere to enjoy the bustling street life. You just walk out of the hotel and all the excitement of the inner village on the famous 5th Avenue is at hand, with the spectacular beach only 4 blocks away.
There's no need to scramble out the door in the morning as they have a little palapa restaurant for guests upstairs. A continental breakfast is included with the price of the hotel, and if you want something more, Bebe (one of the owners) will cook you a beautiful chef grade breakfast for around $4.
Playa Del Karma is a paradise found!
While my much needed spring vacation was pretty much a wash thanks to a nasty cold picked up on the plane down to Mexico, my week at Playa Del Karma was just what the doctor ordered.
I love to travel and while I love a four star hotel and room service as much as the next person, I'm not willing to pay extra for it. I do not generally choose to spend a week at a spa, theme park or mall either. I tend to seek lodging with a flavor of the location I am visiting. I prefer small hotels to gargantuan mega resorts but I have stayed at both. Staying at Playa Del Karma is like visiting your favorite relative and they do their best to treat you like family.
The photos posted here of Playa Del Karma are accurate even if they fail to capture the warmth of this hotel. Even a new hotel can look a little battered after a few years in the Yucatan and PDK could use a few minor touch ups - then again so could my home. - I don't think it fair to hold a little wear and tear against a charming spot like this. Clean, cozy rooms and dedication to hospitality make it easy to recommend PDK to other travelers. The cenotes style pool among the coconut tree filled central courtyard was breathtaking at night and a welcome spot to cool down in the afternoon heat.
While Playa Del Karma was located in the heart of the city, only 2 blocks from the main drag (Calle 5), it was a breath of fresh air and welcoming walled urban retreat. Upon arrival, we found a letter of welcome from proprietor & manager Guiseppe waiting for us in our room, along with an invite to the weekly Friday night Italian dinner served in the cafe. We had to pass on dinner (it was heavy in seafood which is not my husband's favorite) - but the multi course evening's menu seemed like a steal for $40 each. You could easily drop that on drinks alone in town and I'm certain the conversation would be lively.
We ate most mornings in the treetop canopy cafe where a continental breakfast of toast, cereal, juice and coffee is included with your room. While the coffee was good, the Cappuccino was to die for - and so much better than Starbucks. Hats off to the Barrista & Chef.
Giovanna in Playa Trails was happy to assist us when booking our tour to the ruins of Coba. When we had to cancel the Coba excursion because of my cold, she was happy to return the full price paid and would not hear of taking the portion we offered to cover her lost commission on the sale. She is a great source of information on Playa and made some great recommendations on places to eat. Guadalapana was terrific and affordable.
As I was sick on vacation, it was nice to know we were 2 blocks away from a 24 drug store & pharmacy. If you get sick, ask Max or Giovanna where to go and they'll get you off in the right direction.
Mamita's beach club is $4 additional with the cost of your room for each day you go there. It is a long walk and you should arrive no later than 9:00 am to secure one of the palapas for shade. You'll be glad you did.
Take the collectivo to the cenotes park out towards Tulum about ($25 entrance fee) - If you do, bring mosquito repellant, bottled water & pack a lunch as it is one of the few places I've been to in Mexico with out a snack bar or restaurant . You'll be virtually alone in the park! It’s probably the least crowded spot in the Mexican Riviera and one of the highlights of our stay.
When we start to look for an hotel in Playa del Carmen, we both agreed to avoid the large hotel complex with all inclusive formula, hotels that give you luxury services but impersonal hospitality. Our choice, in the end, was this small hotel with great personality situated at 5 minutes walking from the famous street Quinta Avenida (5th Avenue).
The staff of the hotel is very professional, infact, Sabrina and her collegues are living in Mexico for several years and they know very well the country.
They are extremely kind and they will give reliable information about everything you may need: restaurant, beaches, transports, car rentals, excursions etc...
All the 20 rooms of the hotel face the luxuriant garden and the small pool built like a cenote.
Every room seems like a palapa, the typical architechture of Quintana Roo and Yucatan. All rooms are decorated with typical caribbean handcraft and furniture.
All rooms have their private bathroom, a large bedroom with king size bed, a mini bar and coffee and tea machine. Furthermore, an hammock is provided for each room (in the terrace or balcony).
it was beautiful to come back from the beach and stay by the pool or on the hammock, surrounded by all the nature of the garden, far from the traffic of the centre of Quinta Avenida, far from the noises of the streets, far from chaos etc...Once pass the door of the hotel's reception it was like entering in a different world. One of the unique qualities of the hotel, was the scented air in the garden. All those flowers and trees were wonderful.
Furthermore, in the hotel you can enjoy the spa and the Temazcal, that is a sort of igloo where you can do a soft sauna with medical herbs.
Temazcal is an ancient custom, used by Maya in the past to relax and revitalize the body and the mind.
I tried "Rito del Fuego", two wonderful hours divided in Temazcal, Tai-Chi massages and aromatic and spicy tea in the end.
It coasted about 100 euros but it worths!!
A perfect, peacefull, well run hotel
We spent 5 nights at the Hotel Playa del Karma during the peak of spring break. The town of Playa del Carmen was busy and loud, but this hotel, only 2 blocks from the strip, was a real sanctuary.
When I did research for our trip I noticed reviews on trip advisor about this hotel and a barking dog. We never heard a peep from any dog, so rest assured, this place is quiet and serene.
The staff was marvelous. They really care about their business and their relationships with their guests. Whether it was extra pillows or help with the in room safe, they went out of their way to be helpful.
Our family of 3 had a nice room with a loft above. Two twin beds were joined together to make a king. Alas, one side of the bed had more wear and we were able to feel the springs on that side. When we mentioned it, Max immediately provided a pad that fixed the problem for us and by the time we checked out, he said they had ordered a new mattress.
Breakfast is served at 7:30 or so on their beautiful upstairs veranda which features about 8 tables and an al fresco kitchen. At first I worried because our room was adjascent to the veranda and since it is the tropics, we slept with the windows open. I was certain we'd be woken with kitchen sounds and chit chat of the staff setting up for breakfast. Not so! They were quiet as mice. And on more than one occassion, we woke up late to find the entire patio filled with guests whom we didn't hear at all.
And a word about breakfast - their continental breakfast was not simply dry toast and coffee as was the case at other places we stayed. They offered cereal and morning cake as well. However like us, you will be tempted by their tasty breakfast menu that is offered for extremely reasonable prices.
We will certainly return to the Hotel Playa del Karma. It is 5 star service in a comfortable, low key, modestly priced, hospitable setting.
A pleasant surprise in Playa del Carmen
The weird thing about Hotel Playa del Karma is that It may not seem what you can imagine from the outside. Once you go through the door though a new vision suddenly appears.It is a terrific place to stay even if it lies in the very center of Playa del Carmen it is far from the noise of 5th avenue, yet close to all the entertainement and the beach. My wife and I stayed in one of the Palapa rooms and it was just what we were looking for. Palm leaves Palapa roof, fully insulated against bugs and heat and with all the amenities you would expect from a very good 3 star+ hotel. The small, beautiful tropical garden was inspiring tranquillity. The service was brilliant, incredibly friendly and homely. The breakfast is served in a cozy lounge and was excellent and in one occasion we had a romantic dinner. The restaurant is not always open for dinner, only a couple of times every week, but when the Chef Giuseppe decides to delight his guests it is the right time to participate and enjoy a gourmet meal in a very cozy and romantic setting "al fresco". You will not be disappointed. It is a simple yet charming hotel with an atmosfere far away from the "all inclusive " monsters that we have tried before in the Riviera Maya. My wife and I enjoyed the treatment they give at their holistic space, We think it is a very good value for the money. My guess is that Playa del Karma will get even better, thanks to a very dedicated and attentive team ensuring your well being, but it is already an excellent, lovely place to stay.
Sal and Julie Presti
Exceeded our expectations
Our two week stay at the Hotel Playa del Karma (Feb 1 - 14, 2008) exceeded all our expectations. The hotel is small, quiet, clean and quickly felt like our home away from home. The owners Guiseppe, Max and Beppe are on site most of the time and made us feel very welcome. They are each friendly and approachable and take the time to talk with you or just simply say "ola" as they pass by.
You enter the hotel from busy 15th Avenue, into a small lobby / check-in area, which you walk through into a lush garden with the pool and rooms located around it. The setting is lovely and is immediately refreshing. It is located on 15th avenue which is a short two blocks from the busy 5th Avenue tourist area, and one more block to the beach.
We stayed in a palapa room with a high ceiling thatched roof. While the room was air conditioned, we never turned it on as the fan over our bed provided enough cooling and we enjoyed the soft breeze. Our room did not have a TV or phone and there are no children. The ambience was quiet and relaxing. The pool, located a few steps from our door, was lovely and very refreshing. There were times we did not go to the beach, but just stayed and relaxed by the pool.
The total experience was relaxing. If you are looking for a small friendly, well run mexican hotel we higly recommend you try the Hotel Playa Del Karma.
Larry and Barb
I was very excited about staying a this small hotel, after reading many great reviews. However, I was disappointed from the moment I was shown to my small musty room. There were literally no windows at all unless you count the sliding glass door that led into the shady courtyard. The glass door did not have a screen on it, so to get fresh air, we had to let in mosquitos. Our room was so dark we had to have the very dim overhead light and bedside lamps on to see to get dressed during the day! The smell and atmosphere was quite dank and musty. The AC unit was covered with mold, as was the edge of the shower. The shower was an open type and it was not particularly clean. Ample hot water was not always available. All of my clothes that I kept in the very small chest smelled terrible due to the moisture in the room. The sheets were poor quality, thin, and scratchy. There was no mattress pad on the bed at all. The pillows were broken down and lumpy inside the cases. The comforter was also thin and scratchy and had cigarette burns. The courtyard was pretty, but again, disappointing. The pool is tiny and the water icy cold. The sauna, or temezcal, that was advertised on the hotel's website was not even available for general use. You have to pay 150.00 US dollars to use it! The courtyard was also frequented by smokers and the smell made it unpleasant to sit outside, or open the sliding glass door in the room. The continental breakfast consisted of toast, fruit loops or other sugary cold cereal, and sometimes a slice of dry store -bought cake. The orange juice was more of an orange drink that was poured out of a gallon jug. The coffee service that was supposed to be available in the room and lobby was actually hot water and nescafe instant coffee. The coffee at breakfast tasted no better. An awkward aspect of the continental breakfast was that it is served in the restaurant and when you arrive you are asked if you would like something else. At first I was uncertain if that meant that I had to pay. Then I was offered the menu with prices. The "continental" breakfast is not offered on Sundays at all. Instead you can get a "voucher" for a restaurant several blocks away. I did not even bother since the "voucher" for the mamitas beach cost 45 pesos a day. The high speed internet access cost an additional 7 US dollars a day. Overall this was the equivalent of a budget US hotel as far as cleanliness and amenities, but with lots of "hidden fees."
Beautiful, romantic, resting and peaceful, well located, clean, comfortable, are the words that better describe this hotel. I would define it as an ethno-boutique hotel, a place where you need to spend your next vacation in Mexico.
Breakfast is great and you can choose from continental, “mexican platillos” or low calorie menu of tropical fruit and fresh yoghourt. In fourteen days, I don’t remember tasting the same thing twice.
During my stay of course I also enjoyed swimming in the Mexican Carribean; after all it is not such a long walk from the hotel. But when the sun was really hot, I’d rather relax under the shade of that luxuriant garden, sitting and reading my book by a little but cosy and suggestive pool. But, trust me, being cuddled by the arms of those caring professional therapists during a “SUKHA” massage, is an experience you won’t forget. In my memory, I have never had a therapy who could give me such an immediate benefit.
The Management, three very kind and friendly (but polite) Italian guys, speak fluent English, Spanish, French and surprisingly enough, some Arabic and Swahili, and this aspect I believe makes anyone feel at home!
After reading some reviews I was sure of my choice but having spent some time with them, makes me believe that it won’t be the last one!!!
My friend and I just returned from spending eight days at this delightful hotel in Playa. The location is ideal, much quieter than many hotels located right on the bustling 5th avenue, yet everything such as beaches, shopping, and restaurants are a short walk away. We so loved the intimate, authentic feel of the hotel, with the thatched roofs and the lush, tropical gardens. From the owners to the cleaning staff, we were always made to feel so welcome, and truly felt like we were returning "home" each night after our fabulous days in Playa del Carmen. As we hunker down for winter in the Northwest, we are already dreaming of our next trip!
Good, affordable option
My husband and I stayed here for four nights in late January. It's not a high end, luxury hotel by any means but our room was quiet and clean, the staff friendly, the price was right and the location good. The courtyard of the hotel is attractive and charming with lovely vegetation and a small decorative pool. People who expect to actually swim in the pool will be dissapointed as it's very tiny and doesn't seem conducive for actual swimming. However, the beach is a short walk away...I can't imagine coming to the Carribean and spending time swimming in a pool when the ocean water is so warm and inviting! Our hotel room itself was a bit dark and poorly lit (it had no windows-only a sliding glass door with no screen and the lighting was dim) and the air conditioner was noisy but other than that I really don't have any complaints. When you stay in Playa del Carmen during January and spend approximately $80 per night you have to be realistic in terms of your expectations. Overall we were pleased with our stay and would recommend this hotel for people on a budget desiring clean, basic and pleasant accomodations.
hotel playa del karma
gardaen of the hotel Playa del Karma